A simples guide

When should I claim on pet insurance?

In summary, a pet insurance claim can be made whenever something happens to your pet that is covered under the terms of your insurance policy.


What does pet insurance typically cover?

All pet insurance policies have different levels of cover. They may cover you for some or all of the following:

  • Costs of treatment if your pet has an accident
  • Costs of treatment if your pet becomes ill
  • A compensation payment if your pet should pass away
  • A compensation payment if your pet gets lost, plus an amount to cover the costs of advertising and offering a reward to try and recover your pet
  • Liability insurance for the costs you need to pay should your pet cause damage to another animal, a person or to property
  • Costs of boarding your pet should you become ill for more than a few days and need a boarding service to look after them
  • Emergency treatment for your pet when you are abroad


A pet insurance policy will not usually provide cover for:

  • Costs of routine veterinary treatment, such as check-ups and vaccinations
  • Pre-existing conditions – i.e. illnesses from which your pet already suffered when you took out the insurance


When and how should I claim on pet insurance?

As soon as you think you may have reason to make a pet insurance claim, you should telephone your insurance provider as soon as possible. Your policy documentation should include a direct phone number that will get you straight through to the department that deals with pet insurance claims along with your policy number.

Tell your insurance provider the name of any medical condition that your pet has been diagnosed with. Also give the insurance provider an indication of the likely costs of your pet insurance claim – if the claim involves treatment for an accident or illness then your vet should be able to provide this information. Send your insurance provider any invoices or other evidence of the cost of the claim.

Your insurance provider will send you a claim form. Ensure that you complete the form in full, and seek clarification from your insurance provider if you are unsure about exactly what information to provide.

Find out if the insurance provider will pay the vet directly, or if they will pay the money to you as the policyholder, leaving you to pay the vet. Occasionally in cases of emergency treatment, it’s possible that you will have already had to pay the vet, and you will then be claiming on your pet insurance in order to be reimbursed.

Make sure you keep your insurance provider informed at all stages of the claim, for example if your vet refers your pet for additional treatment elsewhere, the insurance provider will expect to be told about this.

Will the insurance costs go up if I make a claim?

Unfortunately, it is likely that making a claim will increase the premium you need to pay in the future for pet insurance. Even though pre-existing medical conditions are nearly always excluded from cover under pet insurance, the insurance provider will take the view that if you have made one claim, you are more likely to make another. If you claimed for a medical condition in the past, then the insurance provider will take into account your pet’s health when considering any new application.

If you claimed for another reason, such as an accident or your pet getting lost, then the insurance provider is still likely to take the view that your claims history suggests your pet poses an additional risk.

When you come to renew your insurance, use our pet insurance comparison service to make sure you’re getting the right deal. But remember, if you want to buy a new policy, most insurers won’t cover a pre-existing condition.

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